Another question: What kind of piccolo are you looking for (silver/metal; plastic/composite; wood). You said in another thread that you were starting marching band--I've seen a LOT of silver piccolos listed as I've been looking at various used listings for a good-quality composite.
i want a metal one for marching but i do private lessons and would like a plastic one just to mess around on because i got to play some piccolos at band camp and cant decide which i want but wood cracks easy so i dont want one of those until i get out of school
Someone is selling "New in Factory Box" Gemeinhardt 4P's (the plastic with the plastic head) on ebay for about $360. The same seller has the other Gemeinhardt piccs, too (the one with the plastic body/silver head, and the all-silver model). Based on what I've read, I've decided against the Gemeinhardt, but it would probably make a good marching band piccolo. Go to ebay and search "Gemeinhardt piccolo."
And, yes, you definitely don't want wood for your purposes--wood doesn't mix with band camp, either. The plastic one with the silver head might be a good compromise for you.
Have you talked to your band director? Or do you have a flute instructor? They might know of someone who has graduated and is going off to college who is selling an instrument.
Well, if you do get the picc, I recommend you get your flute serviced by a good technician, if you've been using it for marching band this summer. You still need a good flute for regular band/orchestra, correct? I played my picc in the marching band and orchestra in high school, and my flute in the wind symphony.
Picc is lots of fun, but get a decent instrument that can be used outdoors (either silver or plastic/composite), either new or with a known history. I'd be wary of a pawn shop or of any piccolo with a price that seems too good (i.e. some of the used instruments on ebay where the person obviously doesn't even know the correct way to describe the instrument <g>. Check your local classified ads, too--if you buy it from a local person, you can make him/her play it for you before your purchase (you can play it, too, obviously, but not a great test if you've never played one before). Or, ask if you can take it to your flute instructor to be looked over.
This set of listings also has links to OTHER places that list used flutes:
>>1. DO NOT under any circumstances buy a piccolo from a junky chinese brand on ebay. They usually cost from 65-179$ and DO NOT buy them. Some of these brands include Sky, Jinyin, Kersting, Selman, and SEVERAL others.<<
Oh, yeah. I have looked at a LOT of piccolo ads in the past few weeks. The new Gemeinhardts on ebay are the cheapest I've seen that I might even consider buying, and that seller has good ratings. Anything new for under $350 is suspect in my mind; the ones I'm looking at (Emerson, Sonare) are in the $450-$550 range. But, if I were looking for a high school marching band/maybe other picc, I'd grab up one of those Gemeinhardts in a heartbeat.
Used is a whole nuther ballgame, but, like I said, I'd stick with name brands and known history. There *are deals out there. I remembered the $275 picc in CT because I live in CT and was looking at that brand (Emerson), but I've decided to rent for a bit and get used to the composite headjoint so that I can try before I buy.
Oops, sorry--the one in CT is an Armstrong. Still, looks like a very good deal, if he still has it. -J